Docker swaps leathers for dog collar

IAN Cooper rides an 1100cc super bike, was a Felixstowe docker for 22 years, and describes his first prayer as "unprintable".But this weekend Ian will be one of 13 new priests who will be ordained to serve in the Church of England.

By Richard Cornwell

IAN Cooper rides a 1100cc super-bike, was a Felixstowe docker for 22 years, and describes his first prayer as "unprintable". But this weekend he will be one of 13 new priests ordained to serve in the Church of England.

He said: "I was going through a bad time at work and at home and I basically told God to 'Put up or shut up. Do me a favour and I'll do you one'. He did and here I am."

Ian, 44, who will be ordained by the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the Rt Rev Richard Lewis on Sunday, will be joining the Mildenhall team ministry in the north-west of the county.


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He promises to bring "ordinariness and plain speaking" to his new job.

"The Church is ordinary and normal," said Ian. "Too many people try and make it extraordinary.

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"If it's got room for somebody like me, then it's got room for everybody."

His Honda 1100 Blackbird motorbike now only comes out on special occasions. But while at theological college in Nottinghamshire, he drove the bike round the Donnington race circuit to see what it could do. He described the experience as "not bad, mate".

For more than 20 years Ian worked as a driver at the Port of Felixstowe. He is married to Jayne and has to adult two daughters, Samantha and Stephanie.

WEBLINK

www.stedmundsbury.anglican.org

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